Average price of a pint rises by four times the rate of inflation

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Capital punishment: unsurprisingly, London boasts the most expensive pints in the UK with an average cost of £5.19
Capital punishment: unsurprisingly, London boasts the most expensive pints in the UK with an average cost of £5.19

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The average cost of a pint in the UK has risen by 24p to £3.94 during 2020 – an increase of 6%, or four times the rate of inflation, according to new research.

Five cities with the most expensive beer

  1. Doha, Qatar £10.86 (average price per pint)
  2. Dubai, United Arab Emirates £8.70
  3. Oslo, Norway £7.57
  4. Manama, Bahrain £7.41
  5. New York City, United States £7.23

New figures from shopping comparison website Finder.com have revealed that London boasts the UK’s priciest pints – and 19th​ most expensive in the world – setting the average drinker back £5.19 or £1.25 more than the national standard.

Though the capital's costs are less than half the price of pints poured in Doha, Qatar – where the average pint currently costs £10.58, the world’s most expensive – drinkers in Venezuelan capital Caracas would still be able to buy 16 pints at the national average of 32p for every beer bought at London’s average price.

Comparing the price of a beer in 177 of the world’s most populated cities in each country also found that the £5.19 Londoners pay is more than double the global average, which sits at £2.36 per pint.

Interactive map: where are the UK’s priciest pints?

Closer to home, at 17p less than the average prices paid in London, Brighton was found to offer the second most expensive pints in the UK, with locals paying on average £5.02 for beers by the beach.

With an average cost of £4.91, Cambridge is the third most expensive place for a pint in the UK according to new figures, while Edinburgh and Oxford rounded off the UK top five with their pints costing on average £4.74 and £4.49 respectively.

Settling a far lower bar, the cheapest place to get a pint of the 42 cities analysed is Dundee, where a pint costs, on average, £3.08 – 41%, or £2.11, less than London prices and 86p less than the UK average of £3.94. 

Following Dundee, Swansea and Perth are the second and third cheapest cities to buy a beer, respectively, with the average pint in Swansea costing £3.12 compared to Perth’s average of £3.14.

Check out The Morning ​Advertiser’s (MA)​ interactive map of the UK’s priciest pints with cities registering above average in red, those below in blue, and Manchester – which serves pints at bang on the UK average of £3.94 according to Finder.com.

Cost changes

Five cities with the least expensive beer

  1. Caracas, Venezuela £0.32 (average price per pint)
  2. Freetown, Sierra Leone £0.41
  3. Lusaka, Zambia £0.57
  4. Antananarivo, Madagascar £0.62
  5. Niamey, Niger £0.62

News of the 6% increase in the average price of a pint from £3.70 to £3.94 may come as a surprise after the majority of operators quizzed by MCA Insight and HIM​ in a June Hospitality Leaders Poll revealed that they had no plans to increase food and drink prices post lockdown.

Of the 278 pub operators who responded, 56% said they planned freeze the price of a pre-lockdown pint, while 3% said they planned to cut customer costs.

What’s more, just 28% of those asked said they planned to increase drink prices at their pub once trading resumed on 4 July.

“It’s interesting to see that the average cost of a pint has risen by four times the rate of inflation (1.5% as of March 2020),” travel and shopping specialist at finder.com, Georgia-Rose Johnson said.

“This rise is unlikely to put customers off with the pubs reopening after three months on 4 July. 

“However, it is probable that pubs and bars may have to increase their prices in order to make up for the losses they have incurred by being closed over the last three months, causing the cost of a pint to be even more expensive next year.”

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